World Immunization Week is observed every year in the last week of April, i.e., from April 24 – April 30t and it chiefly targets to promote the necessity of immunization and the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against various diseases and infections. This year the theme for World Immunization Week 2021 is ‘Vaccines bring us closer’, which urges greater engagement around immunization globally to promote the importance of vaccination in bringing people together, and improving the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life.
Well, amidst the fearsome second wave of the coronavirus hitting all of us with a renewed fury, getting vaccinated and immunizing oneself is our one-shot at battling against the highly contagious SARS-CoV2 virus. Currently, in India, we have three vaccines – Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V. The development of these vaccines in less than a year is no ordinary feat, however, the ambiguity around the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in such a short time span during the pandemic has led to various misconceptions. Fear of adverse reactions such as fever, allergies and body pains and news of people with comorbidities dying after taking the vaccine is touted as some of the reasons that are making health workers and common people reconsider taking the first and second dose.
So, this Immunization Week, before getting jabbed, let us set the record straight and clear some of the common myths that are doing rounds on the Internet.
Debunk The Common Myths About Covid Vaccination
Myth#1:A single dose of the vaccine is enough to shield against the coronavirus.
No, one shot of the vaccine is not enough to immunize the body against the contagious coronavirus. With the first shot, the plasma B cells trigger the body to make numerous antibodies, but they are usually short-lived and decline in number unless it is followed by a second dose. Hence, like most inactivated vaccines, Covid vaccination using mRNA technology needs to be taken in two booster shots.
The COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility in women.
It is completely untrue as experts say that the amino acid sequence shared between the spike protein and the placental protein in the vaccine is too short to actually affect a woman's fertility or cause any problems with conceiving in the future.
The Covid vaccine can alter my DNA.
It is totally false. The vaccine contains mRNA, which is a messenger that codes for various proteins, and is a method for triggering a response from one’s immune system by introducing inactivated germs into the body, which prompts the body to build a specific kind of protein called spike protein, the quintessential piece that combats the coronavirus.
Taking the vaccine can make me sick with Covid-19.
The statement is completely erroneous as neither of the mRNA vaccines currently in use contains the live virus that can cause Covid-19 infection. Some vaccinated people might experience mild and temporary side effects, like mild fever, body aches, and chills which are normal but can never lead to the contagious infection.
Certain blood types have less severe COVID-19 infections, so getting a vaccine is not necessary.
Yet again, the statement is just a misconception as studies have shown that there is no reason to believe being a certain blood type will lead to increased severity of COVID-19 or reduce the risks of the infection. Hence, one should very well get vaccinated since it not only protects the individual but also the family and the entire community.